Blinkist Offers Users The Best Insights Of Non-Fiction Books

Blinkist Preview View

Admit it: right now, your bookshelf or e-reader is probably supporting an entire ecosystem of non-fiction for which you just haven’t found time. If that thought just made you feel guilty or stressed, relax – help’s on the way.

Today, Berlin-based startup Blinkist launches globally, with a fresh release of its iOS app and a new web app. Blinkist crafts “made for mobile” summaries of non-fiction books.

Key insights are summarized in units called blinks, which take less than two minutes to read. A whole book clocks in at just 15 minutes – a perfect fit for your morning commute or a quick break. Blinkist wants to establish the blinks format as what Neil deGrasse Tyson calls soundbites: triggers for interest which “set a learning path into motion that becomes self-driven.“

The library offers the key insights from best-selling books in seven categories: Entrepreneurship, Popular Science, Health & Happiness, Politics & History, Society, Business & Career, and Productivity & Self-Help.

The Blinkist library is not based on algorithms that mechanically try to understand the books key insights. Every book is hand picked and written by experts – pure human brainpower with a passion for explaining complex matters with simple and beautiful language.

As for monetization, Blinkist is based on a freemium model. Every user can access the whole library for one month, for free. After that, access to the library is $4.99 per month. People can extend their free access by inviting their friends to Blinkist.

At the moment, around 20 books are being added to the Blinkist library each month, but this amount is set to increase significantly in the months to come.

So far the app has gathered over 20,000 downloads in the German Appstore, over 1,000 paying customers and a lot of praise and attention in the German media.

Samples from the library:

  • Business: Jim Collins‘ “Great by Choice“
  • Marketing: Ryan Holiday‘s “Growth Hacker Marketing“
  • Entrepreneurship: Eric Ries‘ “The Lean Startup“
  • Popular Science: Malcom Gladwell‘s “Tipping Point“
  • Politics & History: Noam Chomsky‘s “Rogue States“
  • Health & Happiness: The Dalai Lama‘s “The Art of Happiness“

Vtok – Google talk app for iOS devices

Vtok logoI’ve been looking for this kind of app for the last 2 years. There was no decent Google talk app for iOS devices, but now – finally – there’s a great app for that.

If you’re the proud owner of an iPhone or iPad and want to chat with your Gmail contacts, start using VtokVtok is a messaging, audio and video-calling app for the iPhone and iPad, available free from iTunes.

Try it now, you won’t be disappointed. Click here to download.

Top Features

  • Video calls, voice calls and text chat (IM) with Google Talk users and other Vtok users
  • No account to sign-up. Just login with your Google/gmail account and start talking
  • Works over Wi-Fi and 3G
  • Devices supported are iPhone4, iPhone 3GS, iPad2 and the 4th generation iPod Touch
  • Choose whether or not to use video in a call. You can also enable or disable video during a call
  • Choose between front and back camera on your device
  • Stay connected and receive calls, even when the app is closed and moved to the background
  • Invite/add contacts from within the app.
  • Unlimited phone calls and SMS messages using Google Voice. (For US users with Google Voice™ accounts only, requires an in-app purchase)

Text chat features

  • Free push notifications
  • Emoticons
  • Easily insert commonly used phrases from a list during chat.
  • In-app browser for use during a chat session
  • Customizable chat themes
  • Send virtual gifts via chat messages
  • Share your location while chatting
  • Multi-language support for chat messages.
  • Copy and paste text from chat messages.